Dentist looks set to get approval for NHS surgery

PUBLISHED: 12:18 25 January 2007 | UPDATED: 14:59 12 May 2010

Robert Ayre

Robert Ayre

A DENTIST S battle to set up a NHS surgery in Royston looks like it is coming to an end. Plans to convert a shop into a dental surgery in Queens Road are set to be approved. Members of North Herts District Council s Royston area committee are expected on

A DENTIST'S battle to set up a NHS surgery in Royston looks like it is coming to an end.

Plans to convert a shop into a dental surgery in Queens Road are set to be approved.

Members of North Herts District Council's Royston area committee are expected on Wednesday to give the go-ahead for the scheme.

Dentist Robert Ayre has been attempting to establish an NHS dental surgery in Royston for the past seven years.

He had an application to convert a shop on the corner of Barkway Road and Priory Lane turned down, and then negotiations over setting up a surgery at the disused Victorian schoolhouse in Market Hill were abandoned.

Mr Ayre has run a NHS dental surgery at the Royston Health Clinic for the past six years - but its success has meant it can no longer take on new patients.

His plan to convert the disused shop in Queens Road gained the support of Royston Town Council's planning committee in December.

Then Cllr Rod Kennedy said: "It's time he was given permission to provide something that is desperately needed."

Joan Yates, speaking for the surgery, said it had always been "optimistic" about converting the shop in Queens Road.

But she added she was hoping that this time there would not be any "stumbling blocks".

The plan for Queens Road would see the setting up of a practice which would eventually have five surgeries.

In a document supporting his planning application, Mr Ayre said that the proposal would meet "the demand for community facilities" in providing an NHS surgery.

Planning officer Tom Rea says in a report to the committee that there are both "practical and sustainable advantages" of locating the surgery in Queens Road.

He said that although approving the scheme may be against council planning policy there were exceptional circumstances for giving the scheme the go-ahead.

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